Sunday, April 29, 2007

Five Years Ago...

I gave birth to my precious daughter Allison Grace. She died 101 days later.

Five years seems so long ago, yet I can still remember it like yesterday. I had just thrown a big "golden" birthday party for Matt. Friday night Shannon and I were in the grocery store getting food for the big party the following day. Shannon asked me if I was feeling okay and I told her I was just tired. I jumped into the party preparations and the party full steam ahead.

Sunday Shannon and I hit a few stores before meeting the person she carpooled with to go back to Ohio. I went home, finished cleaning and finally sat down. It was then I realized that I was having contractions. I was one day shy of 36 weeks. I was supposed to be induced because we lived over an hour away from the hospital where all our specialists were. We took Emily and Chris to the the neighbor's house and left for the hospital at 1am. By the time we got there I was already 4 cm and in full blown labor.

I was terrified. Not of the birth process itself, but of the unknown. We knew Allison was going to be sick and that she had heart issues and potentially some other issues. I remember Matt and I praying together in the car as he drove to the hospital.

Around 9 am on April 29, 2002 I gave birth to a beautiful 5 lb 10 oz little girl. I remember hearing her cry and the team of dr's cheer because that meant she was breathing, a huge thing for a heart baby. They were able to place her in my arms for a few minutes before whisking her away to the NICU. It was an amazing feeling.

On that April morning I remember being full of hope. Today I should be buying cake, and presents and balloons. I should be getting excited because turning 5 means the bittersweet start of kindergarten, losing teeth and learning how to read. But instead I wonder what she would have looked like on this day and would her wish have come true when she blew out the candles?

The next 101 days that followed are still engraved in my memory. Her first surgery at 5 days old, the one and only time we got to try and feed her through a bottle rather than a NG tube, the 32 days in the NICU, the dr visits, our move to a city 3 hours away, our vacation to North Carolina (I thank God for that week of memories), the medicines, waking up every 1.5 hours around the clock to pump or hive her meds, seeing her with my parents and my kids, the hellish 5 last days of her life and holding her in my arms for the last time.

The death of a child is something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. When you lose a child a part of you dies too. The pain you feel will never go away. Yes, after 5 years the pain is no longer like a sharp knife twisting into your heart, but rather a dull ache that no matter how much you try will never ever go away. And I rarely talk about it not because I don't want to, but because if I did I am afraid the tears would never stop. I am not some "super woman" as some say. I just do what everyone else would do –– learn how to live again.

Happy 5th birthday Allison. We miss you.





You can see a few more pictures here.

"Some people only dream of angels, we held one in our arms"

40 comments:

Deborah said...

*tears*

Happy Birthday, Allison.

Alexis...I wish I had something comforting or insightful to say to you, but I don't, because I know that nothing anyone can say can make it hurt any less. I'm thinking about you and your family, and your beautiful baby girl today.

((hugs))

mama2dibs said...

Oh Alexis,

I wish I could take the pain and the hurt away. I guess that wouldn't be fair to Allison though. I wish that I could say something to explain everything away, but I can't do that either. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. I know it can't change anything, but hopefully it helps you know that she is remembered.

((hugs))

Tracey said...

Happy birthday sweet Allison.
Alexis, I'm thinking of you in these hard days. {{hugs}}

SuperMom said...

I'm sorry I missed this post yesterday; what a painful day it must have been.

Take care of yourselves, and happy birthday to Allison!

it's me, Val said...

Love you, love Allison, love your entire family.

Erin said...

My hear is aching for you! That's all I can say. ((hugs))!

Jill said...

I'm so sorry for you loss, but it must be nice for you to be able to "celebrate" this day when a few years ago you thought you'd never celebrate again.

lil ole' me..... said...

Happy Birthday Allison.
Even though we have never met, please know that you, your family and your friends are in my thoughts and prayers!!!
((Hugs))

it's me, Val said...

I'm sure sitemeter will show that I've been here off and on all day . . . lol . . just checking in on you and lurking to see all the amazing sweet and loving comments. People are so great and your family is so loved . . . :) xxoojavascript:void(0)

Michelle said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

((hugs))

Jen said...

Alexis,

I can not even imagine what you have gone through. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers. Birthday wishes to baby Allison. May her wings be stronger than ever!!!

Hugs,

Jen in Mississippi

Heather said...

As hard as it may have been, I'm glad you were able to celebrate Allison's life yesterday. She was beautiful in all the pictures you posted. My heart goes out to you and your family.

A said...

You may not feel like superwoman but I am in awe of you right now. What an amazing post and an amazing family to stay so strong. She was a beautiful little girl and your post really touched my heart.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

Happy Birthday Allison!!! I am sure you are having the best party in heaven!

Alexis - I don't even know what to say. I am totally in tears and overwhelmed by your loss!!! I am so sorry - I just can't even imagine!

Julia - Susan's daughter has a small heart defect - but it has not been a problem. But because of it - and the concern that Susan's next baby might have one as well and it might be worse the next time - it makes your story hit home all the more to me.

May God bless you and your precious family. May God wrap his arms around and hold you tightly as you weep!

Victoria Martin said...

i still can't read about Allison without tears ... I can never truly know what her loss has been to you & yours AJ. {{{hugs}}} and love xo

Elle said...

She is a beautiful baby. Thank you for sharing these pictures on your blog, as well as your story.

You captured many of my very same feelings as well about the loss of a child. Your heart is never the same.

Praise God for all that He restores. Thanks for stopping by my site.

Kim said...

Happy late Birthday, Allison. I'll bet kindergarten is even better in heaven!

Alexis-thank you for sharing this with us. I cannot imagine the ache that you have after losing this precious, beautiful baby girl.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

Alexis - i hope you don't mind - but I linked to this post at our blog today.

I just have been so profoundly touched by you and Allison.

I hope you don't mind...

God Bless! {{{HUGS}}}

Carey said...

Happy Birthday to your little angel. Thanks for sharing your story.

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh, yes, what an angel. I hope you feel our hugs and prayers today.

xoxo
Stephanie

KarenW said...

What a precious little girl! I am so sorry for your loss. May the God of all comfort hold you closely.

Kari said...

Your little girl was beautiful! I too had and lost a baby 5 years ago. Dylan was a 25 weeker and only lived 5 days but they were amazing 5 days.

It is amazing how much time heals! Peace and love to you and your family!

Jennifer Sprague, All Natural Mommies said...

There are no words, I can not imagine your pain - I came here from a link at 5 minutes for mom, and WOW - I am so sorry for your loss, I just really have no words - Your in my prayers

{Karla} said...

what a precious baby!

Hugs and blessings to you,
Karla

(here from 5 minutes...)

Princess of Everything (and then some) said...

I cannot even begin to imagine how brave you must be to open your heart up and share this with us. Her photos are beautiful.

Just think, today you must have helped so many other familys who have also lost angels just by posting your thoughts and your feelings.

Prayers for you and your family.

Liza's Eyeview said...

Alexis,
Here's a link to a book that I think you will love (or you probably do already). My kids and I love this book for a long time but it was only last night when I learned that the author Robert Munsch wrote that song/book for their two babies who died. It's hard. May this link bring you a little comfort:

http://robertmunsch.com/books.cfm?bookid=40

Heidi said...

What a beautiful little angel. I am so sorry for your loss - words just can't express. Prayers for you and your family...

Heidi

Jann said...

How my heart aches for you.

I lost my baby girl Madison nearly two months ago and I still feel sucker punched when I think of it.

My thoughts are with you.

oh amanda said...

Alexis, I read this post the other day and thought I commented on it. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your daughter with us. She's beautiful. You're in my prayers today.

melody said...

Happy Birthday beautiful Angel.

Alexis,I can't reach you to give you a hug, but God can. Thank you for sharing your beautiful daughter.

MikeandCharlsie said...

I found your site via 5 Min. for mom. I had to comment. We lost our little baby girl last year, she was stillborn at 28 weeks. The 1 year anniversary of her birth is coming up and I can't tell you how comforting it is to see that another mother has survived such heartache. I am so sorry for your pain but know that this post has been a huge comfort to another mommy whose arms ache to hold her baby girl. Thank you for your post. I pray you continue to feel Gods comfort in your life!

Laura said...

What a hard thing to bear. Thank you for sharing your precious memories with us. I'm honored to have met your daughter through your entry here. So precious it makes my heart ache with yours.
Blessings on this painful anniversary. May you know our Lord's presence powerfully,
Laura at My Quotidian Mysteries

laughing mommy said...

She was so beautiful. What a little blessing she was.

tAnYeTTa said...

You are amazing to share your story. Thank you :)

jdoriot said...

((hugs))...I too had a child who died (May 31, 2006). I can really relate to a lot of your post. Your daughter is beautiful and I'm sure she already knows my son, Gus! Thanks for sharing your story..I'll be back later when I have more time to read!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story and your pictures of Allison. She was a beautiful baby.

Goonie said...

i am sorry alexis, i am sure Allison happy in heaven. and i am agreed that she was a very beautiful baby.

Goonie,

Baby First Year

Kara said...

Happy Birthday to your angel. She is beautiful. I'm am sorry for your loss. (((hugs)))

WriteWingNut said...

God bless your family. What a precious little soul. She was so blessed to be loved so very much in her short life.

theragan3 said...

I too lost a baby. Moses was a 28 weeker born with Downs and the heart condition common to these kids. He had open heart surgery and couldn't bounce back.He went home to the Father Dec of 2005. I know the pain and heartache. I have days every now and again that I call my "Moses" days where I let it all out. I don't feel like super woman either - you do what you have to do, put one foot in front of the other and take it one day at a time. If you choose to stop living, what good does that do our kids in heaven? They certainly wouldn't want that!
God grace and peace to you tonight.
Erinn

www.moses-mackay-ragan.memory-of.com